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A sanctuary at the crossroads of London’s most stylish neighbourhood, The Carlton Tower Jumeirah is the perfect urban hideaway. With an incredible location on the private and luxuriant Cadogan Square in the heart of Knightsbridge, the five-star property originally opened in 1961 as London’s first tower hotel and was celebrated for being the tallest in the capital at the time.

Henry End, also responsible for the interiors of the Plaza Hotel in New York, was commissioned to make the Carlton Tower the epitome of glamour of the 1960s.  

Swinging sixties

The Carlton Tower has a long history. The hotel has welcomed royalty and celebrities, rock musicians and heads of state, supermodels and classical musicians. Celebrities including American playwright Tennessee Williams and British fashion icon Mary Quant who used the hotel as a backdrop for her fashion shoots, stayed there.

The hotel’s explicit history was depicted in the book “All That Life Can Afford: A celebration of The Carlton Tower Hotel on its 50th anniversary”.

The new era

Originally managed by Hotel Corporation of America, The Carlton Tower switched hands and brands several times before the UAE’s super-player Jumeirah Group took it over in 2001. In 2021 the 17-story property underwent a £100million renovation resulting in the reduction of rooms for the sake of larger accommodations.

Thus, nearly 50% of them are suites now and 87 have balconies with direct views either over the greenery of Cadogan Square or Harrods and Knightsbridge with recognisable landmarks such as The London Eye and The Shard in the distance.

Thoughtful redesign

Thanks to the substantial refurbishment the hotel was given a new foyer, striking double-height reception, flagship restaurant, health club and London’s largest naturally lit swimming pool. Stars and socialites from all over the world can take advantage of the Royal Suite, the hotel’s new and most exclusive residence featuring three bedrooms with the option to privatize the entire floor.

The cherry on top reflecting the new era for the hotel is hidden in its slightly tweaked name – The Carlton Tower has been rebranded as The Carlton Tower Jumeirah.

Attention to detail

The sophistication even stretches to the hotel’s staff uniforms which were designed by British couturier Nicholas Oakwell. Employees of The Carlton Tower Jumeirah have two sets of the gorgeous silk print outfits – for day shifts and night-time.

Personalised like no other

Everything here is tailored to each guest and designed to make a memorable stay. Upon arrival you are given a leather key card with your initials printed on it. A Scrabble set made of white chocolate is waiting on the table with your name spelled out on the board and personalised slippers are laid out by the bed.

Sup, floor to ceiling marble bathrooms with toiletries by Grown Alchemist, enormous soft and silky sofa in the living room and well-stocked minibars with the cocktail recipe book make it very difficult to leave the room. Although it’s worth checking the idyllic Cadogan Gardens. The hotel provides exclusive access to the private park and tennis courts.

Gleaming spa

As mentioned above, among the key touches of The Carlton Tower Jumeirah is a 1394 sq meter Peak Fitness Club & Spa spread across three floors and complete with the five elegant treatment rooms, sauna, steam room and relaxation area. A new mezzanine level overlooking the 20-metre pool – London’s largest in a hotel with natural daylight – features private cabanas that might have the guests thinking they are on holiday.

Wrap yourself in comfy bathrobes and switch off from the outside world. The Peak offers studio classes and a gym with Technogym and Theragun equipment on the ninth floor, with panoramic views across the capital.

There are dozens of different teas to try

The dining options offer something special for each meal of the day. The club lounge, called the Ninth Floor, offers both informal dining or just coffee with a view while The Chinoiserie, adjacent to the lobby, is a grand salon of sorts with international eats, as well as afternoon tea. Another nice touch is that the guests at the hotel can get a key to them as well as enjoying the tennis courts adjacent.

An ideal Italian escape at SW1

Flagship restaurant Al Mare, which translated from Italian means ‘at the sea’, is somewhere you’d visit whether you were staying at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah or not. Expect high-end adults only Italian dining from executive chef Marco Calenzo who’s worked in a number of Michelin Star establishments and great views over Cadogan Gardens.

Sumptuous interiors are all Art Deco pendant lights, parquet wooden flooring, dusty pink booths and dark, deep velvet chairs. The central marble bar takes the starring role, while blue, white and amber tones throughout the rest of the space create a warm, holiday-inspired ambiance.

The personalised message

Once again, the hotel’s attention to detail shines through: if you order a cocktail it will arrive with your initials monogrammed into it an ice cube. In the morning don’t miss the chef’s crispy pastries,  they are like nothing else you’ve tried before. We would also recommend ordering a cappuccino or flat white – any milk-based coffee drink will be decorated with your name written in an elegant font. This array of experiences makes for a memorable stay.

Learn more about The Carlton Tower Jumeirah here.

Image credits: © Anthony Parkinson